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The Citi Foundation
The Ford Foundation
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Open Society Foundation
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
The Ford Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
Urban Institute researchers take advantage of dozens of existing quantitative data sets to study the world. These data come from the many federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as from dozens of private and proprietary sources.
Effective analysis of broad, complex research questions requires a rich tool kit of methods. Urban researchers use quantitative and qualitative strategies to provide rigorous and nuanced explanations of the meaning behind the data.
Sometimes researchers will go to a certain place to watch and examine what is happening in that setting and document what they see. This qualitative method is referred to as observation. There are two forms of observation: participant observation, where the researcher takes part in the activities of the group, and nonparticipant or onlooker observation, where the researcher simply observes the activities. Most of the Urban Institute’s work is
A focus group is made up of individuals who share a common characteristic who participate in a moderated discussion. For example, they might be participants in the same program or residents in the same neighborhood. Focus groups can tell you what a group of people thinks about a certain topic or set of topics and why they think that way.
Qualitative interviews are semistructured conversations with individuals who have a certain level of knowledge about or experience with a subject. Respondents can be program participants, neighborhood residents, knowledgeable community members, program administrators or other staff, and elected officials. Interviews can be conducted both in-person and over the phone.
The measurement of inequality usually focuses on measuring inequality in outcomes (income or wealth or health or some other measure of well-being), variously using differences between the highest and lowest outcomes or variation nearer the middle or some other part of the distribution.